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June 2018 Meeting Announcement and Updates

We’ve made it through another season, almost. Next weekend is our final meeting before our summer break. Our June meeting is when we do our annual potluck. That means we all bring something, with no particular organization, and we get to eat whatever shows up! Bring chips, drinks, casserole, salad, whatever you like. Bring enough to share with roughly eight people. 
 
Our photo contest theme in June is alway the “Open” category, so this is the time to bring something new, or odd, or otherwise. I’ve got a handful of pics that I’ve taken this year that just didn’t fit into the earlier categories, so now is the time. 
 
Next Season’s Themes
As we discussed in our meeting last time, we’ll spend some time selecting categories for next season’s contests. We have 10 meetings a year and two of those, September and June, are always “Open” so that leaves eight categories to choose. Shannon, as usual, has provided a list to get us started but this time we’d like to solicit ideas from everyone. Either email me your ideas in response to this message, or bring them with you to the June meeting. We’ll put up all the ideas and we’ll pick our favorites together.
 
Here are Shannon’s suggestions:
  • Flowers
  • Signs 
  • Farmers market
  • Textures
  • Barns, churches and bridges
  • Rustic, vintage, antique
  • Journalistic
  • Buildings 
 
For reference, there’s a record of our themes for the last 5 years on the website.
 
Also, in case you need some inspiration, here’s a list of 328 contest theme ideas on another website:
 
Personally, I like the idea of picking themes that aren’t object-specific. I like themes that are more artistic, like “negative space” or “monotone” or “isolated color” or “abstract patterns” or something like that. 
 
Additional Club Topics
It has been suggested that we focus more on sharing techniques, strategies, software tips, and other ways to help us all become better 3D photographers. I love this idea because while there are plenty of tips and tools on the Internet for better photography, our particular love of 3D is what brings us together and, as you know if you searched, there just isn’t much online for how to take better 3D photos. While I love the idea of sitting back and watching someone else tell me how to make better photos, that puts some pressure on someone to step up and give that presentation. 
 
I spent some time looking up how other clubs organize their meetings. I wanted to see how other clubs run their contests, how they judge, what they focus on in their meetings, and their level of organization (or lack of it). I’d say PSSCC is not the least organized, but we’ve got some room for improvement. I have some screenshots I took from other clubs’ websites. I’d like to share those at this month’s meeting then spend a little time talking about what people want from our of our club, and how to make that happen. Most of us have years of experience taking photos in our own special way, and we have developed a certain way of crafting our images. Some have experience selecting and improving photo gear, or years of experience building proficiency with some software package or another. I think each of us has some deep well of experience that would be a welcome topic of discussion with the rest of our club members. But in order to share, someone has to do the sharing. If we can agree on what we want out of our club, it’s my hope that we have members that can step up and share something valuable in that regard. If we can do this on a regular basis, we’ll be a much stronger club.
 
Location Search
Earlier this month I reached out to a handful of locations requesting information about renting their facilities. I made a little progress, but most places didn’t even respond. The one place that responded enthusiastically was in West Seattle. It’s a narrow, clean room with few windows, it’s central-ish, and it’s available during our current timeslot on Saturdays. The rate for non-profit organizations is $25/hr. The rate for non-registered or for-profit groups is $50/hr. This would require us to become a non-profit organization, and as we’ve discussed there are other advantages to us to do that anyway. (That’s a whole different conversation.) They have a bathroom sink, but they don’t have a kitchen. They don’t have a problem with us bringing in food, but we need to clean and sweep after every meeting. Basically, we need to leave it in clean condition every time, but that’s not new for us.   We’ll talk about this and other options in our June meeting.
 
See you all soon!
 
 
By |June 8th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on June 2018 Meeting Announcement and Updates

October Meeting Announcement

At our October meeting on 10/14/17 we’ll have several items of business.

1) ISCC Contest

PSSCC will be selecting entries for the first round of the ISCC competition at our October meeting. We will need 6 entries with no more than 2 entries per person.  The format for the images is the same as last year:

Each stereo Image for the PSA-ISCC should be a single image file consisting of the stereo pair with the left image on the left side and the right image on the right side. Image width (horizontal) of each individual image should be exactly 1400 pixels and the height (vertical) should be 1050 pixels, resulting in a combined image file width (horizontal) of 2800 pixels and an image height (vertical) of 1050 pixels. Where the image is not to an exact 4:3 format, image centered black banding is to be used to convert the image to the required 2 x 1400 x 1050 format.

This can be most easily achieved with the StereoPhotomaker “resize” tool in the “Edit” menu option.  Select the “Keep Aspect-ratio with border” button and, in the two boxes type 1400 for X and 1050 for Y.
Select the Resample option if it is not already checked and hit OK.  Save your image with a new name so that you do not over-write the original.

There is no limit on the size (in megabytes) of the files, so do not use a lot of compression when saving the JPEG image.   

2) Moving Meeting Venue

Last month we began talking in earnest about moving the club meeting location closer to the Seattle metro area. Don has a candidate for a new location in Kirkland that looks to be promising: the Kirkland Congregational Church (google map) (church website). We’ll want to talk about the  timing and make sure we have general consensus regarding a move. 
 

3) PSSCC Photo Contest

Of course, we’ll have our monthly photo contest. This month the theme is: Demonstrations
 

AND…

Of course, we’ll have lunch. Sign up here to volunteer to bring a thing.
By |October 6th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on October Meeting Announcement

Schedule Chanages – March and April, 2017

In our February meeting, we discussed some necessary schedule changes. Please make a note of the following:
 
1) Our March meeting will start at 12:30 pm and run till 3:30 pm. There’s an event in the Senior Center facility and it’s unlikely to be cleared out in time, so we’re pushing back just half an hour.
2) Our April meeting will be on the THIRD Saturday this time, rather than the second Saturday. The new date for our club meeting (April only) is April 15th at the regular time.
 
 
By |February 19th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Schedule Chanages – March and April, 2017

2016-2017 Season Begins September 10

Our 2016-2017 meeting schedule begins on Saturday, September 10. Our first photo contest theme will be “Summer Share” as we normally do for our first meeting after the summer break. We’ll discuss contest themes for the rest of the year at our first meeting.

 

By |September 5th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on 2016-2017 Season Begins September 10

Photo Blogs, VR and Free Tools

In the last few months of meetings and announcements some websites and tools have been mentioned. Here’s a quick post to provide references for anyone who’s interested.

Digital Photography School

Before we start, here’s a new one that I’d like to share. This blog/newsletter offers pretty inspiring tips for the aspiring photographer. He’s eager to sell his classes and books, but what he gives away for free is pretty good. Link: http://digital-photography-school.com/tips

Google Nik

Google has a set of photo filters that they just made available for free called Nik. They used to cost about $150, but they just decided to give them away. Be warned, it’s a big download (~500MB).  I’ve been using them in Photoshop, but there may be other ways to work with them. Check it out here: https://www.google.com/nikcollection/

Google Cardboard (VR)

Back in February Don showed us some of his VR (virtual reality) viewers. One of the software applications that Don mentioned was Jaunt VR (website: http://www.jauntvr.com) which allows you to use your phone to view VR. You’ll need a VR headset viewer such as Google Cardboard or similar units. Look online for inexpensive units. Here’s a place to start: https://www.google.com/search?gs_ivs=1&q=Google+cardboard+viewers

That’s all for now.

By |April 17th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Photo Blogs, VR and Free Tools

January Meeting Wrap-Up

Before we get to the January wrap-up, remember that our February club meeting is on Feb 13, the day before Valentine’s day.

In our January meeting, we had some technical difficulties (Stuart wasn’t there) so we couldn’t get our voting software working. As a result, for our next club photo competition in February, we’ll have a combined contest theme of Food / Nature.

We also had a frank conversation about the food situation. Marilyn and Joyce have been managing the significant effort for providing, organizing and cleaning up our monthly buffet. There are a few things that they’d like to request.

  1. We need more volunteers to bring food. It generally falls to the same people, month after month.
  2. Please don’t call Marilyn or Joyce to check on the food status. Please check the website to see what’s needed. Note that you can now sign-up AND cancel on the sign-up list. The sign up list automatically notifies our food coordinators whenever there’s a change on the list, and will automatically send you an email reminder the day before the event. You can also sign up months in advance. Nevertheless, if you sign-up and later can’t provide food for some reason, please make an effort to find someone to take your place. We all agreed that if there are gaps on the sign-up sheet, there will be gaps on the lunch table. No one should be expected to fill the gaps at the last minute.
  3. Joyce requested occasional assistance with driving food to the meeting during bad weather. She’s in the North Seattle area. Please write Joyce directly if you’re willing to help in this respect.
  4. It was also requested that our newsletter/meeting reminder/email be sent two weeks ahead of the meeting requesting food volunteers, and that a second reminder be sent one week ahead of the meeting to point out any gaps in the menu.

Food Reminder: Please sign up to bring food. ? Here’s the link to the sign up page.

We also addressed our meeting location. It was suggested that a more convenient location would help existing members come more often, and might even bring in new members. Don said he’d check out a church venue in Kirkland, but any change wouldn’t happen until our next club season (2016-2017) because we’ve committed to the Federal Way Senior Center. I have also sent email inquiries to two Seattle-area churches that rent space to other photo clubs, but have yet to get a response from either.

Don showed us some of his VR (virtual reality) viewers. One of the software applications that Don mentioned was Jaunt VR  which allows you to use your phone to view VR. You’ll need a VR headset viewer such as Google Cardboard or similar units. Look online for inexpensive units.

Spring will be in the air next month, and we’ll all start to get that itch to be outdoors more often. But for now, it’s still cold and wet, which is perfect weather to work on your photo submissions for “Food / Nature” for February 13.

See you then.

By |February 7th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on January Meeting Wrap-Up

April Meeting Announcement

april-meeting-announcementThe blue sky and white clouds are playing tag, the birds are calling, the trees are in bloom, and the warm sun on our faces reminds us that it’s a loving world after all. There couldn’t be a better time to huddle in the dark and look at photos of the great outdoors!
Next weekend is our April meeting. Our club photo contest is “Plants” and I KNOW you’ve got pictures of plants, so bring ’em and show ’em.
Food!
It’s Spring and you know what that means! It means you want lunch on Saturday. In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve been relying heavily on Joyce, Marilyn and their support teams (‘husbands’) to make sure we’re fed. They spend a lot of time managing the tiny details, presenting a buffet, and cleaning up after us. We owe them more than thanks. We owe them a debt. Their efforts turn our slideshows into events. On behalf of the whole club, let me say how grateful I am for all that you do. We can help support them by making sure that that they don’t have to BUY the food as well. Bring some stuff. Here’s the sign-up page.
We’ve also got our ISC contest this month, so Bob Venezia asked me to pass along this message:
It’s March Madness in April. This is our equivalent of the NCAA final four!
The final International Stereo Club Competition (ISCC) of the season will be held in May. We will need to pick our entries at the April meeting. Currently we are in First Place! Should we have a good showing in May, we have a very good shot at the top spot.
Why are we doing so well? We hosted the ISCC in November. If this were bowling, that would be like bowling a strike. Strikes are good, but to really capitalize on them you need to do well in both of the next 2 frames. We did great in the first frame after the strike. Now there’s one more to go, and it is our time to shine.
Bring your favorite 3D images to the meeting. The rules are:
  • Must have originated as a photograph taken by you.
  • Must not have previously won an award in the ISCC (but if your image has been chosen previously to represent the club, and it did not win a ribbon, your image may be re-entered).

The specifications are that the image should be a parallel pair, side by side with dimensions of 2800×1050 pixels (1400×1050 for each side). If your photo does not meet that spec, Bob will reformat it for you before sending it into the competition.

Website updates:
As of right now, the hacker’s have been vanquished, and the website is back up. The club’s steering committee has agreed to spend $40 to pay for some additional security software for the site. Let’s hope it’s enough.
I haven’t yet found an effective way to add photos to the site. I’ve got copies of all the winners for this past season, but putting them on the site without the support of social media sites is a time-consuming process, and time is a luxury I don’t have right now. Please be patient till I find a way to manage the photos. A photo club site without photos is not what I intended, for sure. I’m working on it.
See you this weekend.
David

 

By |April 4th, 2015|Club Business, Uncategorized|Comments Off on April Meeting Announcement

March Meeting Announcement

Tmarch-meeting-announcementhis month, our photo contest is “Love” which, for the record, excludes selfies with your photo equipment! Bring your loveliest pics to share and show off. We’d all love to see them.

Elliott Swanson has posted images on Flickr of his trip to Harry Potter World. See them here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/85452191@N00/

See ya’ll in March.

By |March 1st, 2015|Club Business, Uncategorized|Comments Off on March Meeting Announcement

Mont Saint-Michel

(c) Elliott SwansonLong-time club member Elliott Swanson sent us some images of Mont Saint-Michel for our club to view in January. Elliott couldn’t be there with us then due to his hectic, globe-trotting schedule. However he did forward me a link to the photos on Flickr to share with everyone.

See his 3D photos of Mont Saint-Michele. Also, see a Google Maps view of the area.

By |February 28th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Mont Saint-Michel

Mont Saint-Michel

(c) Elliott SwansonLong-time club member Elliott Swanson sent us some images of Mont Saint-Michel for our club to view in January. Elliott couldn’t be there with us then due to his hectic, globe-trotting schedule. However he did forward me a link to the photos on Flickr to share with everyone.

See his 3D photos of Mont Saint-Michele. Also, see a Google Maps view of the area.

 

By |January 22nd, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Mont Saint-Michel

PSSCC Club Meeting Notes – January, 2014

We had our January Meeting on one of the stormiest days we’ve seen for a while.  Once we all dried out, we covered quite a bit of territory, as usual. Here’s a quick summary for those of you who couldn’t be there.

Club Business

The Senior Center where we meet has informed us that they would like to raise our rental rate from $10/hour to $15/hour. For the four hour rental period we reserved each month, that means a bump from $40 to $60 per meeting.  This is actually a significant discount from the $25/hour they normally charge, but since our dues have only just been covering our expenses, we’ll be most likely be forced to raise our dues next season to (probably) $30/year.  Our Treasurer, Brian Hogan, reported that we have (with the addition of one more club member’s dues that came in during the meeting) a total of $531 in our bank account. We won’t run out of money any time soon, but we’d also like to keep at least a $400 balance in the account, and the higher rental rate will send us down below that threshold unless we increase our dues.

There was also some discussion of finding another location to hold our meetings. A few places were suggested that might (or might not) cost less than we’re paying now. There also might be possible meeting places that would be further north, which would be closer to where most of us live. The process of finding a new place is going to take some time, and we don’t really have to make the move in a hurry, but a plea was made to the members to spend a little time looking around for options.

Show and Tell

Don Munsil brought a few things to show us this month. First he showed a Harry Potter 3D viewer and slide card set which was made by Viewmaster for Disney. The clever design of this viewer and the clever Viewmaster-like slides weren’t enough, so Stuart Turley (who formerly owned the set but traded it to Don for another even more obscure viewer) customized a second Harry Potter 3D view with achromatic lenses. These were shared with everyone during the break so we could make a side-by-side comparison of the identical viewers with different quality lenses.
Don also shared a set of German books with anaglyphic and traditional stereographic card images from Germany pre-WWII.

Photo Contests

Our PSSCC stereo photo contest theme this month was “Action” and our winners were as follows (see the photos on our PSSCC Contests page):

  • 1st – Shannon Milner’s black and white photo of a steam locomotive near Mt. Rainier.
  • 2nd – Shannon Milner’s photo of Mexican dancers in a parade.
  • 3rd – Walter Hughson’s photo of a falcon diorama at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

Our competition to select images for the ISCC resulted in six images, with two images each from Shannon Milner, Bob Venezia and Stuart Turley. They’ll be submitted to the ISCC and we’ll announce their success as soon as we know.

Photo/Video Show

Bob Venezia shared some spectacular photos he took on the island of Kauai, and Jim Johnston showed a series of images of amanita mushrooms growing on the wooded grounds of his church. Don shared a few short videos, as usual. We started the round with another incomprehensible sci-fi  demo reel from our favorite producers of Russian sci-fi demo reels, Animatrix. We followed that with a fireworks show from Japan by filmed by Takashi Sekitani,  (more at http://stereoeye.jp/index_e.html,)  some vertigo-inducing footage of Kawai shot from an ultralight aircraft, and a segment of the German TV series “Jewels of the World” about Interlochen, Switzerland.

Don showed a series of 100 late 19th century images of Russia and Finland captured from stereoscopic cards. Our final video “dessert” was a short film by 3D master John Hart called “The Fast Life” that mixed time-lapse photography, still photography and even some abstract-ish photos into a memorable art film.

It was a great meeting as usual and we look forward to our next meeting on February 8th.

 

By |January 12th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on PSSCC Club Meeting Notes – January, 2014

PSSCC Club Meeting Notes – December 2013

Our December meeting was well attended and full of great photos and interesting info. For those of you who couldn’t make it, here’s a quick summary of what we covered.

Colleen Woolpert gave a presentation on a 3D viewer she’s developing. She wrote up some details which were posted earlier, including a photo of the viewer.

Sadly, the 2012-2013 ISC photo competition didn’t result in any ribbons for PSSCC. We came in 8th overall, which is respectable, but we’ve done better in the past. We’ll need to up our game this year.

Our recreational viewing  included some stunning photos of the Western Maryland Railroad by club member Stuart Turley, a set of 100 vintage stereoscopic cards of India circa 1902, and a couple of short films from the legendary John Hart. The first Hart film was extremely slow motion images of projectiles passing through lightbulbs, fruit and other small objects. The second was a psychedelic voyage through a variety of computer-generated fractal objects. We also enjoyed a film from the European Space Agency on the International Space Station. We also watched a segment of the IMAX film “Hubble 3D”  showing computer generated views of what it would be like to fly through space.

Our contest winners for December’s theme of “Celebrations/Costumes” can be seen on the  contest winners page. They were:

1st – Stuart Turley’s “Bubbly”

2nd  (tie) – Shannon Milner’s “Native” and Shannon Milner’s “Mice”

By |January 3rd, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on PSSCC Club Meeting Notes – December 2013

PSSCC November Meeting Notes

Once again, here’s a quick summary of our November meeting for members and friends who couldn’t make it to the meeting.

Club Business

Club Treasurer, Brian Hogan, reported that we’re in good shape financially, with nearly all the annual dues paid for active members, and roughly $500 in the bank.

The PSA Journal’s recent issue included their selections for the 2012-13 images of the year, featuring one from our very own Bob Venezia!

Bob mentioned the possibility of hosting an exhibition of photos locally for public consumption. More information to come soon!

Club Competition

We judged our November photo club contest, which was centered on the theme “Harvest”. Check out the Competition Winners page for details.

Exploring 3D

Don Munsil took us on another short journey through his eclectic collection of 3D treasures, including his newest acquisition, Diableries: Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell by Brian May (Amazon.com $42.56). He showed some new iterations of the classic Viewmaster viewers, and attempted to sell, then give away, some “Color Code” viewers, but there were no takers… at any price. He had a little better luck when he auctioned off some CD’s of “Golden Age” stereographs.

Some club members shared their recent work with the group. Bob Venezia showed the movie he’s working on showing time lapse images of carnival rides and David Brown showed some images he’d made using his cell phone.

Don shared some movie excerpts from Monsters University, and a delightful 3D short called “Blue Umbrella,” both from Disney. We also watched an informative and slightly unsettling 3D film made for Imax theaters called “Space Junk 3D” as well as series of Underwood and Underwood still photos of Ireland c.1905.

 

By |November 21st, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on PSSCC November Meeting Notes